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Sat, Dec. 14

'Olivia' needs a CASA volunteer

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 10-year-old "Olivia," who has a long history of envisioning suicide and also making attempts. Her mother, who also has a history of mental disorders, told Child Protective Services (CPS) that she is unable to care for her daughter any longer and refused to pick up Olivia from the emergency room after her most recent suicide attempt. The mother then left the state, with no word as to when she might return or who should care for Olivia in her absence. Olivia was unable to provide any information about possible relatives who might be able to care for her, so she was placed in a foster home. Since entering the home, Olivia has shown aggression toward other children living there and continues to fantasize about committing suicide. The identification of the father is not known.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring Olivia's progress in this foster home (and any future homes, if it becomes necessary to move her); working with her therapist on her clearly disturbed mental state; talking with her physician and teachers, to keep abreast of her physical health and education needs; assisting CPS in working with the mother, if she returns to the area, to determine whether mental health treatment services might result in her being able to resume caring for her daughter; attending monthly meetings with Olivia, along with other team members involved in the case; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for this child. CASA volunteers need to provide information to the court at report and review hearings throughout the life of a case.

If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer for this case or a similar one, and making a difference in the life of a child, please contact the CASA office at 928-771-3165.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This child's name has been changed to protect the identities of those involved, and this child is not eligible for adoption at this time.

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